Back in oh seven when construction was absolutely booming I mean, that was just more money floating around anywhere it was like we lived in dubai or somewhere we're just I mean big buildings going up everywhere well, you know, seven the market took a big crash and it left a lot of us kind of in a bad shape mean, I lost a lot of money on my home I sold my home that I was living in tow move to another area that I wanted to be in and I lost a significant amount of money because of the market everyone in my neighborhood had to go through foreclosure lost their jobs and I was fortunate enough not to have to go through that, but in turn I ended up losing a thanh of money, so I know how it is I've been there and I've done it and I've figured out, wait a minute, I'm getting off on a rabbit trail here, you know, seven when the construction market tanked, what if we were all in construction? What would we be doing now? We may be slowly starting to get back in the construction a little bit, but i...
t would have left us there with our tool belt ah hard hat and no work, but if I was construction guy and I learned how to on the side build cabinets and I learned how on the side to build decks on the people's homes, and then I learned a little bit of, you know, something else there there's there's things and avenues that you could do to put into place should something fail. So don't put everything you own into one idea. You know, this is a senior program, and senior photography is awesome. I mean, it's a great, great avenue of photography, but you have to think with the advancements of iphones and android phones, I mean, how many? How many parents do you see at the zoo or a disney world taking a picture with their iphone everywhere? Do they carry their dslr, or do they even carry their point and shoot camera anymore? No, so think about when you guys grew up. Did you have a photo albums all in your house? Yeah, like I said before, kids these days don't even have photo albums, they haven't burned to a disc that gets thrown in the drawer that in seven years from now, the disk is not gonna work and they're gonna have nothing so it's a constant reminder that we need to try and educate everyone on the value of photography on if we don't do that. We may not have a business one day, so you have to face the reality of things, and a lot of times I don't like to face the reality. I'll tell my wife sometimes like, no, I don't want to hear about it, I just just don't even tell me, I'll just I'm just gonna go keep working, but you have to listen and you have to pay attention. So what happened with me? Wass? As I said, wait a minute, what if the senior business was kind of construction? What if in ten years from now, senior photography kind of goes away, which is not going to, but you may hit a spot in your business is kind of solved every once in awhile, you know, with me I told you before newborns believe it or not, that's, my highest average, so I really need to promote my new born business because it's really hot families is not my highest average, but I really like shooting the wars I don't like photographing family so that's what I go for, I diversify myself and that's exactly what this next segment is about is about diversifying yourself. If I was in construction in those seven, I would probably not be in construction right now, so I'm gonna give you a lot of tools and things that I'm doing not ideas that I have that oh, I think this could work really well if you did this and if you did that, that could work as well. I'm not here tearing down I'm being down the bushes, knocking down doors, opening up things too diversify myself and make sure that I don't become complacent in the market. So a lot of this stuff is all still relative to photography is all photography related, but how would you liketo have may be let's say four times a year that you could make several thousand dollars in one day shooting the same thing over and over and over just like if we had this peace this right here and we got paid to photograph that over and over and over and over, we never had to move the set. We never had to redesign anything and every client that came up with hand us hand us a check full of our check with, you know, obviously good funds in the bank I could work with that some people say, well, that's, not very creative, I'm more of the creative type. Well, listen, I'm type about trying to make some money, you know, being creative is awesome, but show me something I could make some money at it I'm gonna talk about next is limited editions sessions all right, I started doing this about four years ago and it's basically one particular day out of the year where I lower my prices for one day and it's a one time on lee set a lot of people say, well, you should never reduce your prices you she should never reduce your price is well, this is my theory behind it if I can pre design one particular set and advertise it and say listen for this one day on lee we're going to many sessions that in the last ten minutes of peace and the prices are reduced its one set ten minutes in and out what is going to do is it's going to allow all the people in town that say, well, blair yeah, I love his work but I've heard he's like ten thousand dollars first of all there I wish I was that but I'm not I had a wedding client come in a while back and she said, uh yeah, I'm just looking around you know, can I help you with anything she said, oh no, I can't afford you I'm just looking she said I heard it you were like fifteen thousand dollars a shoot wedding and I was like, okay, first of all you need to come sit down and second of all you need to tell me where do you hear that who ok, thank you I went back and had a little friendly visit with that person and we had a we had to come to wei had a good meeting you know what I'm saying lorenzo so we had a meeting about it and educated her so limited edition it's one day only fifteen minute sessions and what if I could put like to say two hundred dollars for every single family and what if I could line up thirty families and that's just a minimum and then you know they're gonna bomb or I'll give you some examples of what I'm talking about something encouraging you to try something different hey bring some more revenue to your studio check this out these are some of the things that we did this is back in two thousand eleven at briar patch ties into tuesday vintage twenties field day old world santa I had an old world santa come in and it was awesome field day I just did that feel did the field day right before I came here I did it on saturday and I flew here on sunday and I did twenty nine twenty eight appointments own uh saturday and each one of those that came in they were already pre paid already had their money if they didn't show up I kept their money because we've communicated that they know they don't show up I'm keeping their money so take a look at some of these that we do here sugar and spice this is one day one set and let me tell how easy this is you take these kids and you just sit him down and you you supply all this stuff and it's beautiful and it's like shooting fish in a barrel it's really easy your lights never change but people love that set they love it and they will pay to have pictures made in that and that's my little girl and she's cute goodness gracious. Thank you better said that. Yeah, now I'm getting but your mom was the one that reached for stuff and ate most of it. But anyways, these images here I mean, who who's not gonna love those of their kids for that one day a reduced price. Now what it does, it allows me to reach those people that say blair's too expensive. But remember if half the battle is getting them to me, if I can get you in front of me, I can express why I charge what I do. I can bring you into my studio you'll only be photographed on this one set, but while you're there I can say, man, these girls are awesome look around while you're here and see all the different designs and elements that I have here and they kind of give you an idea of what people expect when they come here some planting that seed and they're like, ma'am, honey, we've got to come back here and do family pictures one day this stuff is amazing little boys on normally will do if it's if we do the two twos, I do something right next to it for boys so we did this and then we had this set for the little boys and it was cracker jacks, baseballs and it's, a very boy specific set and it's sold like wildfire two twos and ties you just make up a name and you roll with it and I bought a bunch of lemons threw him out, hung a chandelier, a backdrop you're good to go it's more about this setting more about the outfit you know, that's, that's what's selling people like the idea of that little boy's I mean that you wouldn't normally take your kid to get a picture made like that we do it with the tie without a shirt he can leave his shirt on, put a little tie on, we supply everything so that the parents don't have to show up and say, well, I didn't bring anything I don't know what you're talking about, I don't know I had to bring anything so it's all about that constant communication and these boys these guys had a great time doing it the parents love it, they laughed you know, they laughed at the kids when they were up there doing this and that you know, the boys I would say, hey, I'm going to get along she's your girlfriend and I said I want you to be really tough, you know? You just get great expressions that tell me to jump on the couch, I say way there, jump on the couch now jump and fall down on the couch now give me a silly face. Give me a really silly feitian of something really crazy. Show me your muscles, you like you've been working out some of those big old muscles and you just get all kinds of expressions and not only are we fulfilling their minimum order now, they're going to order a way more than what they expected. Another example, one of the most successful ones that I do is called field day and how many? How many time do we get that client that comes in and says, well, yeah, I want to get family pictures made, but my husband, he works all the time and we could be here at seven o'clock on like a thursday night. Why did you guys know I'm not taking a session at seven o'clock tonight? I don't care if the president of the united states called I am not photographing him a seven o'clock that's my family time okay, I probably would on no, probably not that's another story, but I would not I would not photograph anyone. It doesn't matter because that's my family time and I've had to make a commitment to say marking at all and that's it. So doing these types of things have allowed me to be able to make a revenue so that I can stop but field day yeah, my husband can't be there will listen, this is what we're going to it's a ten to fifteen minutes session we do on a saturday. I'll bring a couch and various things out into a field and we have a piece of property not far from here. It's like four miles down the road. We set it all up your husband. All he has to do is just walk in, sit down, get a few images made. I'll work with him. Show him how easy it is. Fifteen minutes he's in the car and go on. You tell me when you go home and explain that to your husband. He's not going to hate picture day quite as much. Okay, so it breaks down the barriers for when that guy comes in he's already mad because he doesn't like pictures and he's like, uh, excuse me, but how long is this gonna take? And I can say hey, don't worry about me I got you I can start the small talk like I told you you know what kind of work do you do, man I drive a truck oh let's go where'd you drive you know I used to drive a truck as well you know, I used to go from here to virginia every night oh, yeah what do you drive a volvo yeah cab over what you figure out ways to make conversation and I make that guy my friend so that when he leaves we shake hands and I say seaman owen that bad wasn't it you now, man now that what that was all right a lot better the last one we did I told my wife I was going to punch the guy out if we don't leave soon because it lasted like two and a half hours the kids were screaming everybody was going crazy but now I had twenty eight families lined up there all prepaid so they had the money in hand before it even happened and they show up and I just sit in there bye bye bye bye and it's just one right after the other and now I don't do the same exact pose but you know, I just do whatever whatever is indicative of what I feel depend on their body type and dependent upon, you know, the demographic and sizes, shapes you know everything. You have a question you say you're you're doing in fifteen minutes it was a one night going like complete once you get the shot that you think you you'd nailed ten minutes and you'd sort of give you kind of chance to take a breather, give drink water and yeah, exactly do you set those up a cz appointments? Okay, your time is two o'clock to fifteen absolutely it has to be on that appointment, and what I have to do to is I have to allow for people to be late throughout the day, so you know about every seventh session or so I'll leave a blank space of fifteen minutes in case we start falling behind and on these days here, normally I'm norma don't even take a lunch break. I'm just shooting I've had as many as forty at one time or have forty appointments back to back to back to back all day from sunup until the sun's about to go down, but I don't mind doing it because it's easy and I know I'm making money, I know I'm making money love those images and again, they're easy to photograph amount in the elements I've got my lighting, so no matter where I am, I've got good light these families, I mean out in the field, they I'm never going to be able to get these guys. I mean, look at how much pain that guy looks like he's in the back there I mean, he is just kill hates it right now but I can get him there versus getting him into a studio and I can make that work now moving forward do how many of these do I want to do? Yes. Quick question from the internet. Yeah that's all right with these small sessions what d'oh about how many eminence images do you show a client from this session and that's from a lia carol and then also follow up from k hey, what do you offer with the base amount for that? Yeah, I'll get into the and more into the pricing here in just a few minutes but I would say on average I'm looking to give him if I could give them ten, fifteen images, you know, one image per minute that there were there I'm totally cool with that totally cool with that and I'll get in the pricing structure in just a minute, so hang tight but that is a great questions people say okay, we I get it but tell me, how do I make money on it so family's heir great now what about can I partner with someone and do something a little bit different for easter? Yeah my brand is not just plain jane I want to do something a little bit different a little prettier so partnered with a local petting zoo and I said, listen, I will feed your rabbits I will take care of your rabbits I will donate money to your rabbits should you let me borrow them for one saturday I said I'll make a contribution and buy some food to give back to you guys absolutely I went to a petting zoo because I know that they're used to being obviously painted and you know they're not going to kill anybody and big advice so you don't let people hold the animals they could scratch they could do something crazy true story I know lady in towns of attire for one of the kids reached out and grabbed it you know how they do they hugged a rabbit on they put little thumper down and little thumper wasn't jumping anymore yeah, she she suffocated it and killed the rabbit that's kind of a downer for your many sessions. So um, but here briar patch people love the fact that we have live animals now have always worked with rabbits. I did, I've had some lambs before they work pretty good, sometimes people are freaked out by him I don't recommend doing ducks or chickens they poop everywhere these guys this may sound mean but it's not if you take their food away the night before, let him eat and then they'll do their business all throughout the night so that during the day they won't do their business all over everything and you can get a little snack about three o'clock and then put the food back in there. Um kids love this I could get great expressions from little ones because they're intrigued like oh my goodness what's going on this guy I mean the lambs the baby lambs now I'll tell you what's crazy you don't think this guy tops on some growth hormones do you mean he's justus bigas a little baby lamb right there but these rabbits are awesome because that one up top he'll stay up there pretty much all day right there he was just trying to get to the cares he's like give me something else to eat gotta have it so another idea, innit? Vanity this is another one we did we get these little rompers we make a headband and we've made like a little sewing set and this is kind of a throwback to maybe like the forties parents love this stuff I mean you're never goingto you normally never gonna dress your kid this way but come in for a little mini session you can do it so what are the details let's get those details for internet viewers and for you lovely people again fifteen minute appointments if you're going to try this for your very first time I would say don't get any deeper than my twenty five appointments actually I'm I'm I'm not even break that back just a little bit if it's your first time I can do probably forty now I'm tired the next day but making money so here's the pricing it's a twenty five dollars session fee now they say well that's not a lot of money it's a fifteen it's a ten minute session was twenty five dollars for every person because I have to have some sort of a commitment but they're not willing to pay for a session than I don't need him and plus I have to pay you know for the rabbits or I have to buy this type of stuff so I need some revenue to be able to do that twenty five dollars session fee with a one hundred fifty dollars minimum order now what we do is we issue them a gift card number and then they will go on to our store site log in and they look at all the images and they check out and then when I check out they enter that prepaid gift card number which takes one hundred fifty dollars off of their current or so let's just say if you've got twenty five appointments and it's a two hundred fifty two three hundred fifty dollars average just say it's a three fifty forty three hundred bucks and you know and one day and that's just one hundred fifty dollars minimum order now for me might I could go shoot a wedding has a ton of pressure for about eight hours I could stand here and take pictures of this little girl eating doughnuts and make more money so so I think four, five times a year I could do something like that and squirrel back some cash I mean, we've had these things before we've done twelve like twelve thousand dollars from a mini session I mean now that's that's doing a lot of work, but if I can shoot one day and make that kind of money, I'm like, you know what? I may turn into a limited edition photographer, but there is a caveat there you got to be careful and not do it too much don't do it too much to explain in a minute why here the prices I don't mind sharing my prices with guys these are the discounted prices now we don't really have we don't have packages per se for this type of stuff everything is allah card. So the old adage money spent is money for gotten that's the reason we take the one fifty for their minimum order commitment upfront because if it if they've already spent one hundred fifty dollars four weeks ago and they get into their check out and they just start ordering they may by four hundred dollars for the prince because well, I've got one hundred fifty and credit so why not so it's? Very common to have people spend four, five, six hundred dollars on on a mini session like man, I can't figure out a way to do that now, how do you get that out? How do you get that out in the community that you know? Hey, blair, phyllis photography is doing a mini session in three months from now, and I want you to come. I want you to get there, but you can use constant contact. Teo e blast all of your current clients, all of the current clients that you have that's why it's important to get their information, get their emails? And then also, now that you have an intern and you have an iphone or some sort of a phone, you're gonna have them go through and send text messages. You're gonna create a generic text from you, you know? Hey, what's up, guys, this is blair and I am so excited to announce that we have this going on blood above a bottle and you have them shoot a text out to everybody, everybody this on your database doesn't take a little bit of time, yes, but does it work? Yes, absolutely start with your current clients first a lot of times were so consumed with trying to get new business that we fall short on offering things to our current clients who would buy them automatically? I'm not saying you quit looking for new clients but give your current clients and opportunity to fulfill that first let them know hey, I wanted to give you an opportunity at this before we released it to the public makes them feel special so makes them feel special biggest way we promote it is on facebook and twitter, facebook, that's how we booked every single one of these we don't do it honestly every single enormous book through facebook, all of our client cm and their own facebook at theirjob all day, you know their own facebook like it's, their job, a friend of mine who works for a big corporation and he said, did your ridiculous you walk by every cubicle in here and they've got facebook pulled up it's crazy crazy! I did not see that here creative love though I've not seen one person on their facebook I'm very impressed with that they run a tight ship here, but yeah facebook that's how we booked every single one of them we placed flyers and clients orders so whenever they come in to pick things up located in their little bag along, we went too fast located in a little bag is a flyer that talks about hey, this is coming up this is on the way I'm giving this biggest advice remember when I said how many times have you heard me say you can't sell it if you don't show it probably tired of hearing that but there's so much validity in that that I can't express it enough if I told you guys okay, we're going to do and two months from now I'm going to do this session and it's going to be called sugar and spice it's gonna be awesome you should really book an appointment for your kids you're like ok sugar and spice that makes a lot of sense first thing I think about his old spice for some reason I don't know so what do I have to do to be successful at a minute out of many session or a limited edition session? I have to have a couple of months before it's gonna happen unfortunately I have to design it. I have to put it all together. I have to get a couple of test subjects to come in and photograph it like I'm going to photograph it that very day or at least similar so that people have a visual if I tell you how pretty something is it's like cool but if I can if I explain it to you it may look like this in your mind but if I say it's a it's a girl it's going to be black and white image with dark hair she's gonna wear pearls but if I can show it to you it makes perfectly good sense right that's why I can't harp on it enough about showing what you want to sell so we've put together the whole theory the systems that we use the way we keep up with everything if you're going to do a volume shoot and you don't know how to keep up with it, write on a piece of paper every client's last name and whenever it my first client comes up mr johnson, I have a card that says johnson I photographed that card and I turn it over and then I photographed him I know that every image that follows that last name belongs to him and then she comes up have another card with her last name I photographed that every image I know that follows is her so you don't have to have sophisticated software is you don't have to have all this you just need someone has been through it and that can help you along the way that says look hey, I'm over here I do this all the time I'm a small business and I finally got it all figured out you got it all figured out and what I want to do is obviously believe it or not we have a limited edition siri's dvd that has everything that we do that you could ever imagine everything is on there we have promo materials that will help match what you're trying to do we've got we've got that of that we've done all the homework for you so you don't even have to mess with it you don't even have the mess with so not only did we tell you how to do it but we basically almost give it to you for free and say look, we want you to be able to succeed without having to jump through all the stuff that I've had to now I was approached recently have you ever had one of those jobs where someone says do you can you do this you like now? I don't know I've never really done that man I'm kind of uh don't know about that kind of messed up on that I don't know I don't know if that's really my forte I don't know with me I don't care what it is if somebody says you know hey, I need to do a session with this tv right here and I want you to make it look like it's a high quality tv so what do you have to do? I wanted to go on a print ad can you do it? Yeah okay, I'm done I'm done stuff like that all the time have I ever know do I know that I'm capable of doing it absolutely would I be mad if I didn't take the opportunity I don't know depends on what they paid but maybe I was approached recently there's a show that airs on fox sports and they contacted me and I said listen is there any way that you could come into the woods and photograph our pro staff members it's a hunting show could you photograph are pro staff members you know we're going to be in tree stands with running chain saws for you know husqvarna there made major sponsor and I was like okay I'm listening I'm a hunter I love the hunt you would not know that but looking at me but any spare time I have this time of year I have my boat and I'm in the woods hunting on the strange right so check this out they called and they say can you do it like let's see fox sports south husqvarna back probably opened some doors you know ah haunting show this home television they may have some things that I want how I might have some things that they want I was nervous but they said you know it's going to be like probably it's got probably take six or seven hours and I knew out in the woods the sun comes up in the morning is pretty sun gets up it's going to change it goes here is going to change I don't know, but I know a three lights set up that's what I can do to really make it work. So I did, and I took that opportunity, and now I've got promotional images for house, lorna and I've got promotional images now, all of their sponsors, every single one of their sponsors, you don't think I contacted them and send him these images and said, hey, I just want to let you know that I want to make myself available to you should you need it and, you know, because we're working with one of the gods, one of the shows that you promote and I wantto make myself available that if you need me to come out and photographed these bow and arrows for you, you know, I'm your guy to do that. So there's, a company called limb saver it's a huge conglomerate, but they do millions and millions of dollars. Well, recently the's gas contact me again said, hey, we picked up a new sponsor, we need a couple of just generic images to send tow him, uh, because they want to put it in the catalog. I was like, name all let's do it, so I met him on a sunday, and I did it pro bono because they didn't have a big budget and they said look, you know, what can we do to help you and I said, well look you like the hunt, right? I like to hunt you got out you got what I want I got what you want so why don't I run out there and I'll do that, but I want you to give me every hook up that you get from every single company I want you to give it to me they said no problem, no problem at all so like, uh, some of these large cos I'm not gonna name I now get seventy percent off fifty percent off I get all kinds of free stuff that comes to my door by trying something different and now I guarantee you my phone's going to start ringing from some of these people that I'm pitching my work too how could a big flat of, you know, oregon toe photograph something that that's some sort of a product? I mean, that would be cool because then you can charge a good bit of money so I'll take these guys out them with their with their equipment it's easy work I even let him use my truck and there they didn't even have a truck they showed up in a caller I'm like, I'm like what kind of hunting show drive the car to the woods like you're killing me here you're killing me you're killing me but try something different break out of your zone this was me practicing I said I would love to photograph some hunters and all their get up out of the woods but it's very rare that I have that many people come in and said hey, can you photograph me and my buddies out in the woods and if they're doing that I'm like, you know there's something up with this I know better than that you know you want to go camping, you don't even have a tent what do you what were you doing here so be careful what you get yourself into but never close the door try something different and when I say try something different do you remember the yesterday the template that we talked about that was available for the take home bags from the orthodontist office? All right, well, the way that came about wass he hired me to come in and photograph his staff and him as a person now he said, look, I'm going to be in this magazine and one of his employees knew of me and said, look, you need to call this guy well, the magazine called he called and said, look, I want you to do it I said fine, you know how much is it I put together a report and I gave it to him thinking that they would say you're out of your mind but I priced it really how because quite frankly I didn't really want to go do it but they looked at it and they said all right, you're okay cool let's do it I was like, oh, man should've charged before you want to make him think about it a little bit so I go in his office is this going to be a challenge for me? Yeah, I'm not really a commercial photographer at this point I cannot do it. Yeah, I'll bring five, six, seven, eight lights if I have to because I want to make it look really good. Funny story when I was here one of my lights for some reason just went crazy and it blew some capacitors in it and he was like, whoa, I look over and the whole lobby was filling up with smoke I mean, it was billing white smoke out of it and I got it out probably just before the sprinklers went off. So yeah, watch out for your equipment there. So I go in and that's when I strike up the conversation and now I photograph his family, I photographed all of his friends, family, all of his patients there know about me, all of his co worker or all the people that worked for him come to me now, so don't be afraid to try something different and don't be afraid to give away your services for things like this at every once in a while if you have to to get started you can't just go right into commercial businesses and say yeah, I'll take these images visit magazine and it's going to be five thousand dollars no number one people don't have that kind of money number two if you charge that kind of money you best deliver that kind of goods if you charge is just a little bit starting out and it gives you a little buffer toe have a few hiccups which is what I did but now charging a premium price so I've got to deliver a really good product but in the beginning it took a lot of that pressure off no one that I wasn't the most expensive guy in town so from there out of aa carlsbad, california, I got a call from super street bike magazine and they said word on the street woz is your pretty good photographer was like word on the street is you're right and I give it back to him, you know, give it back to the way that they give it to me and they said, you know well look here's the deal I've got a military guy he paid to get this bike don and we need to shoot it in three days and I have to have the image is complete well, that was the time crunch that was tough but I was like, you know what I could shoot for a magazine in california my word could be published all across the nation see what happens why not let's try it so as a result I do it I got paid everything was great. I learned a lot from doing on that day. I mean, I had to find the location I had to set of lights. This was thirty five minutes away from downtown on town I've never been to but I had they said what do you want to do? And then they call me again and say let's do another one cool let's do it let's make it happen so now my work's being published in magazines and you get obviously you get the you know, credit for it you know you never know who's going to pick up that magazine is that gonna, um I'm gonna be a world renowned street back photographer now holly doubt it. But you know is there someone is going to see that one day and say, hey, you know what give this guy a call who knows, but it looks good and it's a great experience to get out and have to struggle I have to stress I had to figure out how to get this motorcycle from the very front of this junk yard around the mud holes and mud puddles all the way back down through the barbed wire into this spot where I could shoot it. That was so stressful because the guy told me, he said, look, you know, if you scratch his bike, he said, I'm probably just gonna beat you down, to be honest, you and I say, look within you, sir, a responsible for getting his bike back here, so I leave it all in there. It's always better if you can pass the buck onto someone else, if you know what I mean. Everybody probably would agree with that. Now from their diversifying, I got a call from a large company and said, we want to do an appreciation day and we'd love to have a portrait of everybody and just a group picture just throw everybody together. Sure, I'll do it. I went over there and and did that that was probably close to a four thousand dollar afternoon. I didn't individual headshot. The company bought the individual headshot for them. I priced it pretty high because I did some market research and found out that this company does about thirty million dollars worth of sales per year price it accordingly.